Tohru seeks advice on how to make Kobayashi’s sore back feel better. Later, both Tohru and her father explain why she came to Kobayashi’s world.
Episode 11 – “Premium Seat (No Extra Charge)”
The theme of Dragon Maid this week is how to help a loved one without being pushy. In the first half, we saw Tohru make the same jokes about Kobayashi eating her tail. There’s a high-quality double entendre on that recurring joke. Remember that Kobayashi refuses to eat any part of Tohru because the curative properties would make her immortal. Tohru confronted that dilemma when Kobayashi came down with a cold in the eighth episode. Here, Tohru realized sharing feelings involved conversation and compromise. Kobayashi won’t eat Tohru’s tail, but she can use it as a vibrating massage cushion. Tohru gets the benefit of spending more time with Kobayashi too.
The second half of Dragon Maid gave the audience the full story of how Tohru came to Kobayashi’s world with a sword in her side. Through Tohru’s father, the Dragon Emperor of Demise, we learn why Tohru went off on her own journey to learn about humans. Damocles may be scary, but he’s also a wise dragon. Unlike Ilulu’s grandfather, who brainwashed her into thinking humans are pure evil, Tohru’s father took a political approach. He balanced his personal views with the hardline Chaos Faction. He also wanted to protect Tohru from persecution while she was still a dragon child. His encouragement for Tohru to decide her own feelings and opinions about humans was the act of a loving father.
Tohru’s version of events in the dragon world matched what Damocles told Kobayashi. That told us how similarly the dragon emperor and Tohru remembered things. There were no lies between them, and there was also a compromise between them. The Dragon Emperor made a deal with “the god of this world” to protect the dragon visitors. I wonder who “god” is in Dragon Maid. That guy appears much more forgiving and polite than the tall deity who stuck a sword in Tohru. It puts Kobayashi in a crucial position between Tohru and Damocles because she’s a human who knows more about Damocles’s thoughts and actions than his dragon daughter does. That’s where an open conversation about feelings and thoughts can bring a person: compromise.
Uh oh. Kobayashi needs a back massage. No tail meat, please! Kobayashi likes gadgets. That fits her otaku personality. She’s a collector. Look at all the junk! Kobayashi will use them all! It’s a promise. Otherwise… tail meat! Oh yes! Look at that callback joke to Dragon Maid’s second episode. Ilulu could use her flame sacs for warming, right? Ooh. Kids giving parents shoulder rubs are conventional scenes in anime. Kanna has no flame sacs getting in the way. Interesting! Kobayashi expected Tohru to react childishly about joining the fun, but Tohru asked a remarkably adult question. How can she help Kobayashi without pushing her opinions on her? And a roast tail joke!
Scene change for Dragon Maid. Is the Drunken Dragon’s Den where Takiya and Kobayashi usually go after work? How rare is it to see this combination of dragons and one human? Takiya and Elma drink beer, but Tohru drinks melon soda. Elma mentions that Kobayashi’s poor posture at work contributes to her lower back pain. Occupational hazard for programmers. This was news to Tohru! Takiya turned this conversation dramatically serious. KyoAni shows off again with soy sauce. Takiya’s point about food trapping a visitor to another world is about committing to one place or the other. Avoid straddling both worlds if you want to be loyal to your partner. Har! Tohru stuck Takiya with the check! He better end the meal before Elma starts pigging out.
Tohru has deep thoughts on her walk home. Dragon Maid turned Kobayashi’s sore back into material to explore personal boundaries within a relationship. Look! Compromise! No tail eating, but tail massaging. Tohru can be Kobayashi’s own expensive massage chair. Oops. Tohru’s big boobs annoyed Kobayashi. No shoulder massage for her dragon maid.
Next part. Kobayashi noticed that Tohru’s magic code is like her company’s proprietary programming language. The same company that mages run… Whoa! Tohru’s father is here! He’s visiting his friend, Shouta’s dad! That adds hypocritical context to how Damocles treats Kobayashi’s relationship with his daughter. Mr. Magatsuchi has a dragon painting in his office.
Dragon Maid puts all the pieces together of what we heard about the different dragon factions and how they relate to war against the gods. The more the Emperor of Demise speaks, the more sympathetic he becomes. I love the variety in dragon designs. I enjoyed the scene of dragon bodies throwing themselves into war, breaking apart, and recoalescing. Pointless, endless war. But look at cute, baby Tohru! Her name comes from a fantasy author in Kobayashi’s world. It’s not plagiarism if it comes from the future and from another place. Loophole! Shouta’s dad knows powerful magic. So, Tohru is not Thor… Dragon Maid is so convoluted! Ha. Damocles likes how humans do amusing things and create fascinating objects.
Ah. Damocles points to how the war changed when dragons sided with some humans. The Chaos Faction had a prejudice against humans during Ilulu’s flashback, so this is where that prejudice came from. Wise Damocles thought Tohru should decide for herself whether humans needed destruction. After Tohru’s journey, she attacked the gods’ camp by herself! The Poseidon lookalike threw a sword at her, she escaped into Kobayashi’s world, and Tohru became a dragon maid. Kobayashi thinks Damocles is an okay father. Still, no approval of Kobayashi and Tohru. Damocles is a doting father behind the scenes. He talked to God!
Let’s hear Tohru’s version of things. Human form Tohru on the first try. She’s got hands! Tohru’s memories intersect many of the dragon flashbacks from the first and second seasons of Dragon Maid. Baby Kanna! She didn’t get along with her father, also bearing the name Kanna Kamui. He looks like a dragon bear, fitting for an Ainu storm god. He didn’t give baby Kanna attention, while Damocles was a good dragon father.
Wow! Look at the tail on Quetzalcoatl! Her flame sacs go all the way down. Lucoa joined the Spectator Faction because she doesn’t like fighting. Tohru felt loyalty to her father as the leader of the Chaos Faction. Fafnir was an extremist in the Chaos Faction. Dragon Maid’s seventh episode must have shown how this conversation with Tohru started. Tohru’s final parting with Elma took place after Tohru suddenly abandoned her. The thief girl that was Tohru’s first human friend made an appearance too.
Tohru felt that the war locked everyone into a place where they could not freely make open bonds. She took the purest dragon action before there were factions and attacked the gods on her own. Her father did understand her. The rest is Dragon Maid history. Tohru realized what she wanted to do with her freedom: become a maid.
Next time, it’s the season finale at a summer festival! Fafnir takes his turn as Scorpio. His advice is to curse trolls and their entire bloodline!